Eazy E biography entails the details of his early life in Compton, his rise to fame with NWA, and his premature death. One of the most popular and controversial rappers from the West Coast, Eazy-E opened the door of gangsta rap to many rap artists after him.
Eazy-E… Straight from Compton. Born Eric Wright on September 7, 1963, Wright was raised in a middle class family in South Central, Los Angeles by parents Robin, a grade school administrator and Richard, a postal office worker. Eazy-E shortened his education by dropping out of high school in the tenth grade and selling drugs. Throughout his years as a street hustler, Eazy-E created music in his parents' home and decided to finish high school by earning his GED. With enough money, Eazy-E invested in Ruthless Records with founder Jerry Heller and became co-creator of the record label.
The beginning of NWA. After successfully becoming the co-founder of Ruthless Records, Eazy-E set his eyes on aspiring rapper Ice Cube, and then member of Electro-pop "World Wreckin' Cru" member, Dr. Dre. With the help of Ice Cube’s writing talent and Dr. Dre's producing skills, the group added members MC Ren, DJ Yella, and Arabian Prince and released their first 1987 album, "N.W.A and the Posse."
N.W.A to the top. Their first record was moderately successful, and N.W.A would set the music world by storm with their 1988 album, "Straight Outta Compton." Most "Straight Outta Compton" tracks were vulgar, sexualized, and had violent lyrics that were unlikely heard from any rapper before that time. The record sold three million copies releasing smash singles, "Express Yourself," "Fuck Tha Police" and "Straight Outta Compton."
Eazy-E solo act. In the summer of 1988, Eazy-E released "Eazy-Duz-It" spawning a major hit single, "Eazy-er Said than Done." Most of the tracks were written by Ice Cube and MC Ren and produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella. Both combinations of N.W.A and Eazy’s solo record, "Straight Outta Compton" and "Eazy-Duz-It" placed West Coast rap on the map spawning rap artists in later years such as Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Mack 10 and others.
Ending of N.W.A and feud. Like most bands before their time, N.W.A became no exception with problems in the group appearing later on. By 1989, Ice Cube, who had great lyrical talent and partially made the group very successful, left due to royalties disputes, as he did not earn a fair share for writing songs. The rest of N.W.A bashed him on the next two albums, "100 Miles and Runnin" and "Elfi4zaggin" (spelled backwards Niggaz4life). After the release of their albums, Dr. Dre caught on the finanical issues Ice Cube faced earlier. Before the disbandment, beef surfaced between Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and CEO of Ruthless Records, Jerry Heller because of Heller and Eazy-E withholding money from N.W.A. At the time, Eazy was the top earner and the rest of the members were paid considerably less. By 1994, Eazy-E signed Cleveland's rap group, Bones-Thugs-n-Harmony to Ruthless Records. Eazy-E was featured on one of Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony's single, "Foe tha love of $" and became executive of their second record, "E. 1999 Eternal."
Eazy's death. In February 1995, Eazy-E was admitted to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, complaining about breathing problems. At the hospital, doctors informed the rap star that he contracted the AIDS virus. On March 15, Eazy-E sent a public announcement to fans of the disease and during this time, he made amends with Dr. Dre in his hospital bed. Nine days after his announcement, Eazy-E died from complications by AIDS. In late November 1995, he released his final album "Straight off the Streetz of Muthafuckin' Compton." Eazy-E left behind his wife, Tomica Wright and seven children, birthed by several different women. Eazy's rap group, Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony dedicated their 1996 hit single, "Tha Crossroads" to their mentor.
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